State minister of Housing Hon Dr. Chris Baryomunsi has reassured that government is endeavoring to lower the cost of Housing in Uganda.
Speaking at the inaugural NBS housing Baraza at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Baryomunsi said Government is reexamining the tax regime for construction materials to give tax holidays to manufacturers in order to reduce the cost of materials.
“Government is doing this so that the cost of construction materials can go down and enable Ugandans access affordable decent houses,” said Baryomunsi
He stressed the concern of attracting many investors in the housing industry.
“When the number of cement factories increased, the price of cement decreased so we need many more investors in this sector,” he said.
The minister also said Government is working around the clock by partnering with Banks to ensure Ugandans have access to housing finance.
“This will enable Ugandans to put up houses before retirement age because it will ensure lower interest rate and long term financing”
He added that Government and partners he didn’t mention are discussing “mortgage liquidity facility” to enable Ugandans afford decent housing and invest in real estate.
It should be noted that in the pre and post-independence Uganda, Government took charge of the sector and constructed houses for public servants.
However, in 1992 Government embarked on the National Strategy on Shelter; withdrew and remained as a facilitator and let the industry to be driven by private sector.
Government then established national Housing and Construction company to construct houses and sell them at low rates but the company concentrated in urban areas.
Some of the policies brought in place according to Baryomunsi include National Land Use Policy, and the National Urban Policy to regulate urban construction, National Physical Planning Act 2010 for all constructions to follow planned process, and the recent infamous Land Lord and Tenants Bill that attracted public attention with many Land Lords cursing it.
The minister says Government will enact new laws to regulate Real estate.
“We are coming up with laws to regulate real estate agents.
This is because they distort the housing market so we must regulate them. Government is also enacting comprehensive housing law to guide on standards,” he added